Eddy Senay —
Hot Thang ... CD Sussex/Modern Harmonic, 1972. New Copy (reissue)...
A heck of a great little guitar funk album – a rare early 70s session from the groovy Eddy Senay – an artist that we'd rank right up there with bigger names like PhilUpchurch, David T Walker, Dennis Coffey, or Eddie Fisher at the same time! Fisher's maybe the best comparison here – especially his second album for Cadet – as the style here is clearly born in jazz, but taken through lots of soul and funk territory – so that the instrumental tunes are maybe even heavier on groove than solo space – although Senay manages to deliver plenty with his fuzzy tone on the strings! Eddie's got roots in Detroit, and there's almost some Westbound Records elements taking place here at times – as the set was recorded in the Motor City with help from Johnny Clapton and Thomas Hale on tenor, Rudy Robinson on keyboards, Gordon Camp on trumpet, and some especially great work from Eddie Bongo Brown on congas – whose groove really adds a deeper layer to the tunes. Titles include great remakes of Donny Hathaway's "Zambezi" and Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" – plus "Jubo", "Hot Thang", "Message of Love", and "Down Home". CD
A bit smoother than Ben's earlier albums – but a great little set all the way through – and about as classic as you can get for Sidran in the 70s! The album's got a bit more soul in the mix, but still has some jazzy elements in the backings – and where things were sometimes messed up in the past, they're much more straightforward here – in ways that make the record really sparkle nicely! Ben's voice is still really compelling, and as on his best albums, there's some nice funky grooves in the mix that keep things fresh. Players include PhilUpchurch on bass and guitar, Woody Shaw on trumpet, David Newman and Sonny Seals on saxes, and Richard Tee on organ. Titles include the great instrumental "Let's Make A Deal" – a fast groover with guitar and keyboards riffing away, sounding like some lost jazz funk gem from the Fantasy Records catalog – plus "Beg For It", "Cuban Connection", "Free In America", "New York State Of Mind", and "Feel Your Groove". CD
At last! Someone's finally gone and put together a real collection of Marlena Shaw's fantastic jazzy soul work! Sure, there's been other compilations out on the market – but this one's the real deal, and spans her years at Chess/Cadet, Blue Note, and Columbia – years that saw Marlena emerging to become one of the greatest smooth soul singers of all time! The set begins with the oft-sampled cuts "Woman Of The Ghetto" and "California Soul" – both righteous classics in their own right. The groove then moves onto the excellent "Liberation Conversation", and other smoother material, like "The Feeling's Good", "Loving You Was Like A Party", "Feel Like Making Love", "Without You In My Life", and "Yu Ma/Go Away Little Boy", which features one of the greatest monologues on record! Also includes a version of Al Johnson's "Back For More", and "Could It Be You", a duet with PhilUpchurch. CD